SANFORD, Fla. — Jurors in the trial of George Zimmerman will be sequestered, Judge Debra Nelson announced Thursday.
Attorneys in the case agreed that the trial will take two to four weeks, not the four-to-six weeks previously estimated, she said.
Ten more potential jurors were questioned Thursday about pretrial publicity.
Questions included whether they had formed an opinion based on what they heard, and whether they thought they could be fair and impartial jurors. Half of them were dismissed for cause.
While the court will not confirm which of the five were dismissed, it is likely that two, E18, B67, were turned away because their religious beliefs caused them to believe that Zimmerman is guilty.
“I believe in God’s Law — the 10 Commandments. Don’t kill,” E18 said. Another potential juror, B54, said, “the only person who can judge is God.”
Those potential jurors’ opinions were a stark contrast to E81’s.
Based on what she’s seen in the media, E81 said she believed Zimmerman is innocent and was defending himself when he shot Trayvon Martin. She said she “based it on the injuries George had … I also know Trayvon wasn’t beat up like that. Trayvon was learning to be a street fighter.”
E81 was also a gun rights supporter.
“All people have a right to defend themselves … I think the more people armed, the better,” she said.
E75 was perhaps one of the youngest potential jurors. A recent high school graduate, he said he hasn’t formed an opinion despite the fact that his fellow classmates often debated about what happened and who was to blame.
Almost all potential jurors said they thought that the media heightened the sentiment that the killing might have been racially motivated.
A couple of them are or have been members of a neighborhood association.
So far, 25 potential jurors who have been individually questioned about pre-trial publicity have moved on to the next round. Ten of them are minorities.
The court, at the defense’s request, will not begin general questioning of the potential jurors until 15 more potential jurors are pre-qualifed.
Nancy Leung | CNN